Farms are becoming the target of cyber-attacks, officials say

Canada’s National Statistics Agency says around 20 percent of all businesses can expect a cyber security hack at some point during their operation.

With more use of technology comes an increased risk of cybercrime. According to Canadian officials, farms are becoming the target of more attackers.

According to the University of Guelph, cyber-attacks are on the rise as farmers make more use of internet-based technologies. Canada’s National Statistics Agency says around 20 percent of all businesses can expect a cyber security hack at some point during their operation.

The Ontario Federation of Agriculture says a farm operation was hit just last year, and the hackers were not even trying to get money.

“Fairly simple ransomware was used to break into a small Ontario hog farm. They were able to paralyze cameras, accounting systems, and feeding systems. The farm was held at a standstill for a number of weeks. The attacker did not ask for money. What they were asking for was a false confession from the farm owners, indicating that they were responsible for animal abuse on the farm,” said Cathy Lennon.

Lennon says when it comes to protection, it is all about the basics. She says it is important to do any updates offered by software providers because those updates can often patch weaknesses.

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